I have also been thinking a lot about the curriculum aspect of this project, and am concerned about what direction we will be able to take. So, I have been doing a little research about what is out there. I mentioned a movie in a previous blog post that I watched in an Art Education class about a year ago, and not only did I figure out what it was called, The Hobart Shakespeareans, but I also found a website connected to this classroom. I was going to paraphrase a bit about them, but I really like what it says on the front page of the website:
All of the children at Hobart Elementary School qualify for free breakfast and lunch, and few speak English as a first language. Many are from poor or troubled families. What's the winning recipe? A diet of intensive learning mixed with a lot of kindness and fun. These children come to school at 6:30 a.m. and often stay until it is dark. They come during vacation. They take field trips all over the world. They play rock and roll music. Mediocrity has no place in their classroom. And the results follow them for life, as they go on to outstanding colleges.
They have done A LOT of shows! And, their press page is pretty prolific. Their teacher, Rafe Esquith, has really inspired his students to excel. Will Power!